Tommy’s blogs, 26/05/2017
Having a premature baby can be difficult and isolating. You may feel like every other mother is heading home with their happy, healthy, bouncing baby while you spend hours next to an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Concerns about your baby’s health and potential long term health problems also make the days and weeks after early birth an anxious time.
Small things such as not having a nappy to fit your little ones can act as an unwelcome reminder of your situation and feel unnecessarily stressful .
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is supporting a new range of nappies that have been specifically designed for preemies after her own experience of having two premature babies, Sonny and Kitt.
‘Full-size nappies, which you have to cut down or fold and seem massive, are just another big visual reminder that your baby's not full-term. It's hard enough seeing people happily wandering around with newborns and knowing you can't do that.’
This initiative, led by Pampers and in support of Bliss, shows parents of premature babies that they’re not been forgotten at what can be an overwhelming time.
‘It was even more scary and very worrying with Kit because he was so very small, but I hadn't any experience of a normal, full-term birth so you just cope. You know this new little person is relying on you. But it's quite isolating having a premature baby in intensive care, because your role as a parent is a bit limited and you're not your child's sole carer. It's all so medical and it makes being able to get involved, by doing something normal like changing their nappy, much more special.’
With 60,000 babies being born too soon every year in the UK, Sophie’s experience is sadly not unique.
That’s why we think it’s great to see more thought being put into how we can support parents of premature babies at what can be a difficult time.
These nappies are three times smaller than a regular new-born nappy, which can often swamp preemies. They’re designed specifically to fit the smallest baby in NICU.
Catriona Oglivy, founder of The Smallest Things charity, which promotes support and help for premature babies and their parents, says that the ‘mico’ nappy currently offered was still far too big for her baby boy, born 10 weeks too soon.
‘I remember longing to be able to ‘see’ my baby. Nearly every inch of him was covered; breathing tubes across his face, a mask to protect his eyes from the ultra violet lights, wires and lines over each limb… and his body, swamped in an over-sized nappy! We had to turn down the nappy at the top and even then it reached up to his armpits.’
Pampers Preemie Protection range provides nappies for babies as small as 1.8lb. They’ve got all-over fastening and cuffs as well which seal gently around your little ones delicate legs.
If you’ve got your own little fighter in NICU and need to get your hands on these new nappies, you can order them from various retailers such as Mothercare here.
We know that this period of time in NICU or the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) can be hard. We have a lot of information about caring for your premature baby, right from birth to taking your little one home. If you or someone you love needs support, take a look at our prematurity information here.